July 1, 2021 6:16:15 am
Three days after a junior resident at GMCH alleged sexual harassment at the workplace, the Chandigarh Police is yet to arrest the accused.
The accused has been identified as Kamleshwar, a resident of New Chandigarh, Mohali.
As per the complaint, on June 27 after 6 pm, the victim, who works in the anesthesia department, had gone to the store room to fetch medical supplies, when the accused OT technician allegedly grabbed her from behind and pulled her towards him. “As soon as I tried to run away from him, he held me from the front and molested me. I somehow struggled to get away from him and ran out of the storeroom. He then held me and threatened me to not speak about this or he would take my life,” the survivor enumerated in the complaint.
While the complaint was initially filed as a DDR at the Sector 34 police station on June 27 itself, the FIR was only be filed the following day after the victim approached the SSP, UT. “After the incident I had returned to my shift which went on till 8.30 pm. I then reached the police station around 9.30 pm. They kept me at the station premises till after midnight promising quick action. But the next day when I was called again, their attitude seemed lackadaisical and I had to approach the SSP to get the FIR registered,” recounted the victim. The FIR was filed under sections 354 (outraging the modesty of a woman) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
Police officials reportedly even tried to discourage her from taking action in the matter. “I was told time and again that this matter will stretch very long and will take months and years to be resolved. When I had inquired about the action taken against the accused, I was told it would take time,” she said.
SHO, Sector 34, Inspector Rajiv Kumar said, “We have registered a case in the matter and have begun our investigation. I have already deputed teams to catch the accused.” When asked about the delay in filing the FIR, he responded, “I was on a leave and joined office today only.”
Alleging inaction on part of both the medical college and the police, several resident doctors of GMCH took to the streets and reached the Sector 34 police station on Wednesday.
“We were at the police station from 6 pm to 8 pm. It was after we reached that the police tried calling him (the accused) and when number was found switched off, visited his house which too was found to be locked. They have now told us that his cell number has been put out to be traced,” said a resident doctor at the spot.
Meanwhile, Dr Jaswindar Kaur, Director GMCH told The Indian Express, “Police complaint was lodged first by the student who then came to register her complaint to our office the next day. The complaint received by us has been marked to the Sexual Harassment Committee and yes, we will definitely work out on how to curb such incidents.”
When asked about action against the perpetrator on the institutional level, she said, “Awaiting committee’s report for that. Police is already doing their action.”
The victim, who hails from Himachal Pradesh has been posted in various Covid intensive care units for the year and a half.
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